If you have owned your refrigerator for about a decade, it is time to buy a new one. But before you make the purchase, take into consideration certain key details to keep your appliance — and its surroundings — working long after the upgrades are complete, according to guidelines provided by Shirley Hood of Abt Electronics and Appliances:
Get Out the Tape Measure. How much wall space will you need? By measuring the surrounding area, you’ll ensure that the unit slides in without damage to walls, counters or nearby furniture. If you have swinging doors or crown molding, remember to factor in the available space remaining. Fridge depth is also important. Tighter walking space works better with shallow-depth units, extending 4 to 6 inches outward, rather than the 7 to 10 inches of standard depth.
Consider the Bells and Whistles. Next, consider energy-efficient refrigerators, which contain the Energy Star logo — they can reduce an appliance’s electrical usage by as much as 50 percent. Newer models may also feature water filters, dual ice makers and hot water dispensers. Rebates may also be applicable to your purchase. Check with a customer service representative to see if you can save money while helping the environment.
What Do You Use It For? Have you ever factored your dietary requirements into appliance-purchasing decisions? People who tend more toward fresh foods and produce will require more fridge capacity, with less focus on freezer dimensions. Crisper and deli drawers must be functional as well. Those who consume more frozen meals or eat omnivorous diets will appreciate a larger freezer space. Planning for the future is a smart decision as well. If there is a chance your family may expand, you will be grateful for the additional storage space. Door-in-door access also helps alleviate mad dashes in the morning.
What Kind of Kitchen Do You Have? Kitchen design is another significant factor. If your preparatory space focuses on an open and airy design, you’ll have more room to move. A smaller space, or one with unusual angles, requires the functionality of all remaining floor and wall space. Choose a refrigerator that opens in the required direction, or at least ensure that the doors can be removed and rotated to serve your needs. A coordinated color palette helps add to the beauty of a new space. If your other kitchen appliances are stainless steel, choose a stainless steel refrigerator as well. Do you intend to replace your older working appliances at some point? If so, purchase the new fridge with the future color in mind.